NEW KID

Marcus Poynter Takes The Reins



Nearing retirement, Macky Coomer found his successor for West Somerset Wrecking, in Somerset, Ky., in Marcus Poynter

PHOTO: WES BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

At 32 years old, Marcus Poynter is a young owner. He bought West Somerset Wrecking in Somerset, Ky. just six months ago but, as his former boss, Macky Coomer, stated, some people are just geared to be owners.

Poynter's road to ownership, and the auto recycling industry for that matter, had a couple twists and turns. The Marine Corps, diesel mechanic and contract scrap hauler padded Poynter's resume before becoming a vehicle buyer at West Somerset Wrecking in 2008.

"I've known Macky since I was a kid, but had never worked for him," Poynter said. "When the bottom fell out of scrap metal market, Macky called me out of the blue and said he could really use somebody to go buy for him so he could cut back. The money wasn't as good, the hours weren't as good, but for some reason it fit like a glove."

Every morning for nearly three years, Poynter came to work, grabbed the checkbook and went out to buy cars. Macky saw potential in him and began to show Poynter the ropes of the business.

"He groomed me, mentored me a little bit," explained Poynter. "He showed me different aspects of the operation that he didn't have to and that I wasn't involved with at the time."

The deal to buy the business came to light during the 2011 United Recyclers Group (URG) & Pinnacle Training Conference in Englewood, Colo. The men were sitting on a bench taking a break when the conversation started.

"Macky said, 'Man I'd like to retire,' and I said, 'Man I'd like to buy you out."

"Marcus had a tremendous interest in the business," Coomer remembered. "Before I knew it we had a deal."

Details were pounded out over the next several months, including securing a loan to finance the sale. The business originally kept 600 vehicles on 10 acres. Poynter bought the farm next door, which added 135 acres.

"The wrecking yard was pretty spread out, but with full potential," declared Poynter. "It had nice buildings, nice garages and a nice warehouse … it was just full of potential.

"On September 9 we closed. September 10 was my first day coming into the big office and Macky's first day golfing 18 holes."

Six and a half acres were cleared, leveled, packed and graveled. An eight-foot privacy fence was erected around the property. The office received a facelift with new counters and paint.

"Right off the bat I wanted to let the public know of a new face, but that is the same business," Poynter acknowledged.

"He's really gung ho," added Coomer. "He's doing a lot."

Sales incentives were created. Besides an hourly wage, the sales staff now receives quarterly performance bonuses based upon an average-day sales goal. The higher the salesperson is over his or her goal, the larger the bonus. Sales were seven percent higher in September, 22 percent higher in October and 29 percent higher in December.

"The customers enjoy the improvements," said Poynter. "We have a sales crew that is working all great. We're all smiles."

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